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The Teton County Library

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Policy on the Confidentiality of Library Records

Confidentiality of library records is a basic principle of librarianship. Confidentiality exists when a library is in possession of personally identifiable information about users and keeps that information private on their behalf. In a library, the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one’s interest examined or scrutinized by others. When users recognize or fear that their privacy or confidentiality is compromised, true freedom of inquiry no longer exists. It is the Library’s intention to uphold these rights of privacy and confidentiality by policy, procedure and practice. Users should be advised, however, that because complete security is technically difficult to achieve, the privacy of electronic transactions and files cannot be absolutely guaranteed. The Library will provide information to law enforcement agencies when legally required.

1. It is the policy of the Teton County Library that confidentiality extends to information sought or received, and materials consulted, borrowed or acquired, and includes database search records, reference interviews, circulation records, registration records, interlibrary loan records, Internet use, and other personally identifiable uses of library materials, facilities or services.

2. Such records will not be made available to any individual, agency of state, federal or local government except pursuant to such process, order or subpoena as may be authorized under the authority of and pursuant to, federal, state or local law relating to civil, criminal, or administrative discovery procedures or legislative power.

3. Upon receipt of such process, order or subpoena, the library’s officers will consult with their legal counsel to determine if such process, order or subpoena is in proper form and there is a showing of good cause of its issuance by a court of competent jurisdiction.

This policy is in accordance with Wyoming Statute 16-4-203 regarding the right of inspection of public records as well as the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights ( 1948, amended 1980, 1996), Librarian’s Code of Ethics (1995), Policy on Confidentiality of Library Records (1986), Policy Concerning Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information About Library Users (1991), Access to Electronic Information, Services, and Networks: an Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (1996), and Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (2002).